On Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015 our ordinary day at Hope Technology School was disrupted by a flood of educators, administrators, and techies that piled into a classroom of bustling students. With twelve of our guests traveling over from Denmark and two from Spain, the classroom became a launching point for new ideas to develop across the globe. Students were experimenting and building robots that they had not only created, but programmed to accept commands through a touch device. A group of four seventh graders made minor adjustments to their iPad driven four-legged robot, on the app to help the robot receive the to direction more accurately. The adults saw inclusion in action as group work provided an opportunity for students of varying levels of skill to work together on a task that required development in engineering, programming, design, and communication skills. After watching a presentation on special needs and STEM-focused teaching, the team bid farewell hoping to spread even a portion of their experience to students across the ocean.
A few months later three more educators came to visit from Denmark. Hope Technology School is breaking barriers in education and technology across the spectrum that schools are now striving to implement these programs and our mission across the globe.
Many business relationships as well as friendships bring many people in education to our school to observe the methods and gain practicals for implementing inclusion. In 2013, an administrator of school inclusion stepped foot on our campus in order to gain insight to the powerful, educational, and dynamic resources our school uses to build such an innovative school. With more than 8 million students in schools with a recognized disability, the need for inclusion is growing. Hope Technology School is leading the way globally in helping students use technology to create equality and creativity in the classroom. Following his trip to the United States, he was able to return to China with new and comprehensive ideas for building an inclusive school. Beginning with 100 students we hope that inclusion can become a natural way of learning for many Asian children and families.
At the Hope Technology School, we’ve been working to provide exceptional education for the families we serve in the Bay Area for over 7 years with the vision and hope of transforming the current educational paradigm. On November 7, 2007 we were honored to host a delegation of Japanese Public School teachers, administrators and officials from the Shibuya Ward who came to the US to study inclusion and learn how to better implement it in their education system to best meet every child’s needs. Their goal is to make their programs more inclusive.
We were able to share with them the history of our school and the incredible benefits that families of both typical children and children with special needs experience in our safe, inclusive environment. We discussed the outstanding test scores of our students, the low teacher-to-student ratios of our classrooms, character based education and tolerance. Greatly impressed with our program, the delegates posed many questions; they will return to Japan and implement changes in their school system. We look forward to a continued relationship with them and the opportunity to affect education not only here at home, but around the world as well.